Archives For Graduation

I preached the local high school’s baccalaureate service yesterday afternoon.

There’s nothing quite like preaching to a congregation full of teenagers who are all there because their parents made them. It’s kind of like being a comedian in front of a completely sober crowd, but that just makes it like a normal Sunday service for me. The text I preached was from Genesis 12 and 15, the call of Abram:

Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’

4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; And Abram journeyed on by stages and…the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’ 2But Abram said, ‘O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless,  The Lord brought Abram outside and said, ‘Look towards heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ Then God said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’

I don’t have the text of the sermon in a way that won’t elicit snarky comments about grammatical mistakes etc, so you’ll just have to listen to it below. If you subscribe by email, you may have to click on the link here.

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This is from Elaine Woods, our Children’s Director

Last week my son had his high school graduation.  As a mother who has loved and cherished this boy for 18 years, I could tell you countless stories from his childhood.  How I remember his rosy cheeks after an afternoon nap; shopping at Safeway as a toddler in his cowboy boots and Batman cape; “dropping into the bowl” at Vans Indoor Skate park on his Haro BMX bike with his brother in elementary school; and all the dating drama that goes with Junior and Senior High School.  It all seems so long ago, yet the memories so vivid and current.

Mothers with young children ask me what it’s like to have a graduate, how I will cope with “letting go.”

I tell them that I actually feel good about it.  By the time your child becomes a senior in high school, they are ready for their new adventure, and so are you.

No longer do you see the small, young toddler holding onto your pant leg, looking up at you with eyes that say, protect me.

You see a confident young adult who is anxious to begin another chapter in their life.

Graduation is a milestone that forces our youth to think about their future.  I pray that future includes thinking about their faith.

I want my son to be grateful for his family, for the opportunities he’s had, and for his accomplishments.

I want him to be kind to others, courageous and daring, and persevere under trials.

I want him to thank God for his blessings.

But I also want him also to know that God isn’t done with him yet.

Living in faith is a lifelong journey.

Just as we have guided and prepared our children for their next step in life, God guides and prepares us for our next adventure.

We are never too young or old for God to teach us and guide us on our journey.

Our current sermon series in church is the study of Romans. God waited until Saul was ready before appearing to him on the road to Damascus, and thus changing his heart.  Saul was an adult.

Apostle Paul (formerly Saul) spent the rest of his life sharing and teaching the message of Jesus to the world. Even as he was tortured and beheaded in Rome, he remained true to his faith.

It doesn’t matter how many years you’ve attended church, how many mission trips you’ve been on, or how much theology you’ve studied, the Christian life is a daily decision to obey and follow Jesus whether you are new in the faith, or a seasoned Pastor.

God calls all of us to participate in the salvation of humanity.

God will use you and your life, whether you know it or not, for His purpose.

Yes, we have free will.  We choose our actions.  But God’s purpose will reign.  His grace and mercy will exist in His creation.

As I think about my graduate, and prepare to take him to college in August, I pray for his safety and for God’s guidance; and that I don’t forget my box of kleenex.